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Memorial service Thursday for Air Force Academy cadet killed in skydiving accident

May 17, 2017 Updated: May 18, 2017 at 7:44 am
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photo - Cadet Kaleb Estes, who was set to earn an English degree from the school on May 24, was a veteran skydiver who had made more than 500 jumps before the Sunday incident.
Cadet Kaleb Estes, who was set to earn an English degree from the school on May 24, was a veteran skydiver who had made more than 500 jumps before the Sunday incident. 

The Air Force Academy plans a Thursday memorial for a senior cadet killed in an Ellicott skydiving accident.

Kaleb Estes died May 7 during a parachute jump with Out of the Blue Skydiving off Jones Road. Estes had more than 500 jumps under his belt.

The English major was three weeks from graduating from the academy when he died.

His classmates will gather in the academy's Cadet Chapel at 1:30 p.m. for the service. Estes will be buried in his hometown of Hartselle, Ala.

The El Paso County Sheriff's Office said Estes jumped from the plane and apparently had problems with his chute. Estes, who provided his own gear for the jump, had jettisoned his primary parachute and was relying on an emergency chute.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating. The results of that probe weren't available Tuesday.

Estes was not a member of the academy's famed Wings of Blue parachuting team. Most cadets, though, are trained in parachuting at the school. Cadets, with permission from their commanders, can join in off-base parachuting.

Estes had filled out paperwork for civilian jumps and had permission, academy officials said.

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